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Summer Posts

I wanted to drop this note. Know that my posts have been a little more than sporadic lately and I am sorry about that. No, no one has died or gotten sick. But I have kind of been enjoying summer a tad too much.

And I think I kind of want to do that. Of course, I do plan to keep updating the blog when I can but at least for the summer I plan to post sporadically at best. I am sorry about the inconvenience but this is something I feel I must do.

Enjoy your summer,

Alley

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5 Best Places to Plan Your Summer Vacation With Your Dog

Okay, so the summer is almost over but there is some time left. And with these adventures, they won’t take a lot of planning! So saddle up and head out these great Vacations!

5 Best Places to Plan Your Summer Vacation With Your Dog

Five Great Vacation Spots For You and Your Dog

By Lexi De Forest

From: http://www.cesarsway.com/dog-travel/5-Best-Places-to-Plan-Your-Summer-Vacation-With-Your-Dog?

When you’re ready to hit the road this summer for some much-needed vacation time, don’t forget to bring your four-legged friends along for the ride. Many popular human escapes are actually places both people and dogs can enjoy together. So when you’re packing for your next summer road trip, don’t leave the dog’s bag behind.

1. Sonoma Valley, California

The trip starts on the scenic West Coast in Sonoma, California. Known for its expansive and beautiful vineyards, Sonoma is the ideal place for a relaxing vacation for you and your pooch. What you may not know is that Sonoma is also a very dog friendly city which means that the wineries aren’t strictly for humans. Over 50 wineries in Sonoma Valley delight in their dog friendly establishments. So when touring the serene wineries of Sonoma, feel free to bring your dog along as you sample the local harvests.

After a long day of tasting assorted wines, make your way to one of the restaurants in town where even the dogs have menus. Howards station Café and Glen Court Café both offer delectable doggy dining alongside their humans. But if feeding your pet tableside isn’t your concern, many other restaurants in the area offer dog friendly patio seating and good food too.

Eventually your dog is going to need some time outdoors so head over to one of the regional parks in the area for some doggy one-on-one time. Hike difficulties range from easy to advanced depending on the park so make sure to choose according to your dog and your experience level.

2. Fort Collins, Colorado

Next on your U.S. road trip, make sure to stop in Fort Collins, Colorado for an experience of a different sort. While it may not strike you as the most popular Colorado destination for dog lovers, it may surprise you how much you can do with your dog in this humble town.

The typical attraction of Fort Collins is the numerous breweries that the city offers and dogs aren’t excluded from the fun. At most breweries in town, your dog is welcome to accompany you on the patio as you try out the assortment of craft beers. If the patio isn’t enough, New Belgium Brewery and Funkwerks Brewery actually allow dogs inside their tasting rooms for a more intimate experience.

When you’re ready to spend some time lakeside with your pup, take the short drive up to Horsetooth Reservoir for a good splash and a good time. You can expect a short hike down to get a spot on the water but once you’ve made it down, feel free to play a game of fetch in the water. It’s fun for your dog and great exercise too. But don’t forget to take a dip yourself; the water is just as refreshing as it looks.

And when you’re ready to settle down for the night, head to The Best Western University Inn for dog friendly accommodations.

3. Austin, Texas

When you’re ready to leave the mountain life behind, it’s time to take your dog on an urban adventure. In Austin, you and your dog can travel most anywhere together. Most retail establishments have adopted a dog friendly attitude as long as the dogs are well-behaved and friendly. Most restaurants in Austin follow a similar mindset and allow for your furry friend to hang out on the patio as you take in the sights as well as the food of the thriving city.

When the cityscape begins to become overwhelming for either you or your dog, Austin also offers over 15 off leash dog parks to take your pooch to unwind and socialize. It is very important on a trip like this to observe your dog’s emotions and take care of their instinctual needs.

4. Chattanooga, Tennessee

If you’re looking for the next great adventure, hop on the highway off to Chattanooga for some outdoor fun. The best activity in this area is hiking the expansive gorges. North Chickamauga Creek Pocket Wilderness is a perfect all day hike for you and your dog if you are willing to take on the whole ten miles. And when the heat becomes overwhelming, don’t be afraid to go for a quick dip in the creek that runs throughout the gorge.

Then take a sunset walk on the Walnut Street Bridge for a relaxing walk across the Tennessee River. The peaceful walk offers gorgeous views of Coolidge Park and downtown. After walking the expanse of the bridge, make your way with your pup to one of the many restaurants offering dog friendly patios. You can have a good hearty meal and you both can take it easy.

After your day of excitement, head on over to the Best Western Heritage in to get some sleep for the next leg of your journey together.

5. Cape Cod, Massachusetts

The last stop on the road trip is Cape Cod. The beaches in the area are numerous and widespread but you must watch out for summer dog restrictions on some of the beaches. Because of a high influx of humans, admittance of four legged friends on certain beaches is prohibited but there are still some gems that will allow your dog year round. Truro, Wellfleet, Orleans, and Eastham Beaches are those that are always accepting our pups. On these beaches, dogs are allowed anywhere there isn’t a designated swim beach for humans so stake out a nice sunny spot for you and your dog and feel free to relax and enjoy your surroundings. Watch out for signage regarding nesting shore birds, however, as summer is their breeding season.

If you’re interested in a nice walk or run with your pooch, feel free to hop on the Cape Cod Rail Trail for a historic walk on what was once a 22 mile railroad through many of the dog friendly beach towns. Food and water are available on the trail so you and your dog can be fed and hydrated if you choose to travel to other beaches from there.

Just remember these dog friendly experiences will remain that way as long as we and our pups remain good citizens. So, remember the basics:

  • Clean up after your dog
  • Observe all local leash laws
  • Only bring your dog along if they are friendly and well-behaved

Awesome Fat Inspiration

Source: Fuck yeah – Pretty Fat Chicks

A Pool For Ants

Felt like a little more retail humor for the day.

Source: Me & Amazon Bitches!

Making a Buck: Cash in on clutter with a yard sale

Last year I held a yard sale to get rid of clutter and make some extra cash. It worked – sorta. Maybe I should have listened to their advice:

Cash in on clutter with a yard sale

Holding a yard sale is a great way to turn your unwanted stuff into cash. Here are tips for getting the most from your sale.

From: http://www.buffalonews.com/business/moneysmart/article897593.ece

By Samantha Maziarz Christmann

News Business Reporter
 

It’s that glorious time of year again, folks: garage sale season!Here’s your opportunity to make some extra cash, clear the house of stuff you don’t need and have fun with your family in the process.We’ve put together a MoneySmart guide to help assure your sale goes off without a hitch:

Advertising

A winning yard sale starts with effective advertising. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the best goods on the block if people don’t know your sale is happening, if they can’t find you, or if your ad doesn’t catch their eye.

Post newspaper and online classified ads. Most papers and websites have sections devoted to advertising yard sales, and people who make a day of going to sales use them to plan out their day. Start advertising the week before the sale and be sure to run ads the morning of the sale, too.

Make the headline something clear, concise and catchy. Be sure to check your spelling. Consider including the days of your sale in the headline for patrons who are scanning quickly to plan for a particular day, as many people do. If your sale includes an abundance of a particular type of items, such as fishing tackle, antiques or baby items, let people know.

Be sure the ad includes the dates of the sale, its starting and ending times, the address and any special directions that might be helpful for folks who aren’t familiar with your neighborhood.

Try to list as many specific items as possible, with prices. People are often looking for something in particular and if you’ve got it, they’ll come knocking. On the other hand, just as folks tend to make impulse purchases when they’re out shopping, they may come across a thing or two in your list that they didn’t realize they wanted.

Give as much detail as possible. If you have a lot of clothing, indicate sizes. If you have antiques, describe everything you know about them and their history. If you have baby gear, be specific about its condition and age.

List as many prices as you can and make them as reasonable as possible. See what similar used items are going for and price accordingly.

Pictures, pictures, pictures! If you’re placing a digital ad, adding pictures is a breeze and goes a long way in drawing in potential customers. Some yard sale buyers won’t even click on posts without pictures when they’re browsing ads. You can take individual pictures of really special items, but group shots of a bunch of different merchandise together on tables and racks will also suffice. Use well-lit photos that you took yourself, not pictures of similar items pulled from the Internet, suggests Craigslist.org.

Make up fliers to post at church and on community message boards with a more condensed version of what you might include in a digital ad.

The night before or the morning of your sale, post signs that will lead passers-by to where you are. Take a hint from the Realtors’ “open house” signs you’ve seen and keep it simple. Make signs large and durable with the words “Yard Sale” written in large type and a giant arrow pointing the way to your house. Post signs on the nearest main roads and add others at key turns leading toward your street.

Getting ready

Make sure everything is as clean and appealing as possible. Wash clothing and use fabric softener so it will smell nice. Use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to get scuff marks off toys and shine up appliances.

Make sure prices are visible. Some people are too shy or rushed to ask about pricing and will simply pass an item over if its price isn’t obvious.

To save time, consider grouping items by price instead of putting stickers on each individual item. You can make a $1 table, a $2 table, a $3 rack and so on.

See if you can get your neighbors to hold yard sales at the same time as yours. Block sales attract far more people than single-home sales scattered around town.

Organization goes a long way. Hang clothes on hangers on a rack or clothesline or fold them neatly on tables. Display things in an attractive way.

If you’re holding the sale in the garage, make sure it’s well lit.

Have light bulbs, electrical outlets and batteries handy, as well as anything else folks might need to try things out and make sure they are in good working order.

If you can repair something quickly and easily, it’s worth the extra effort.

Pricing

A good rule of thumb is to price things at 10 to 15 percent of their retail value. Yes, you paid $30 for that blouse, but that doesn’t mean someone else is going to pay $15 for it, even though that’s half price. They can buy a new blouse on sale for $15. Be reasonable.

Ask any yard sale expert and you’ll get the same answer: Nothing is more annoying than someone who overprices their unwanted junk. In most cases, trying to squeeze out a higher price will backfire. You won’t sell much, you’ll have invested a lot of time and energy with nothing to show for it, and you’ll end up donating everything to charity anyway.

If your aim is to get rid of everything, make your prices low. Offer “buy two get one free deals” on similar items or items with similar prices. Encourage bulk purchases with pricing structures such as “25 cents each or five for $1.” Post individual item prices and lot prices, such as “books $1 each, or $20 for the whole box.”

Bring the price down according to condition. Something that has visible wear and tear is going to sell for much less than something new in the box or with tags still attached.

Ask yourself, “What would I be willing to pay for this?”

Be aware that a lot of people expect to haggle over prices at garage sales. Decide going in whether you will tell people your prices are firm or if you’ll be willing to negotiate. If you decide on the latter, you can consider pricing items up to 20 percent higher than what you’ll realistically be willing to let it go for.

What else do you have lying around? Go through the house, clear out your cupboards and throw everything into the sale, even if you think no one would buy it in a million years. If it’s priced low enough, someone is likely to grab it. Got old magazines destined for the recycling bin? Sell them for a nickel apiece. Got an overabundance of washed-out margarine containers that can be used like Tupperware? Bundle them together and sell them for 10 cents.

The big day

Make sure you have plenty of small bills and coins to make change. Three customers in a row with $20 bills can wipe you out in minutes, leaving you unable to make another sale until you can replenish.

Have bags and boxes available and keep an eye out so you can help folks who are getting loaded down carrying purchases. If folks have too much to carry, they’ll cut their shopping short. It’s the same reason a worker hands customers a mesh bag at Claire’s Boutique or Bath and Body Shop.

Don’t hover. Let folks know you are there to help them, but then give them their space. Feeling pressured can send them running.

Let the kids have a lemonade stand or sell homemade cookies and bottled water. Folks will likely be hot, thirsty, hungry and tired when out during a long day of bargain hunting, and selling food and beverages is a nice way to bring in a little extra money. It will also give the kids something to do instead of pawing through the toys you’re trying to sell.

Have friends and family with you for safety purposes and keep the doors to your home locked. Consider displaying your items on the lawn in plain sight rather than in the garage where you’ll be obstructed from view should anything go awry. Don’t take checks, which could bounce or be forged. Keep the money on you instead of in a cash box, suggests Craigslist.org.

Arrange a time after the sale is over for a charity to pick up any items that don’t sell. It will make clean-up easier, you’ll get a receipt for taxes, you’ll be doing a good deed and it’ll keep you from squirreling stuff away again.

How to Avoid Heat Exhaustion

As our summer heats up, it’s time to protect ourselves! Be smart, be safe and avoid Heat Exhaustion!

How to Avoid Heat Exhaustion

By the Editors of Men’s Health
June 17, 2012
(There is a very useful video that goes along with this article – click the link to view it).
PHOTO: Drinking plenty of fluids is a good way to avoid heat exhaustion in the summertime.
Beating the Heat

A lot of athletes exercise in hot weather and sometimes in extreme heat. Signs of heat exhaustion often begin suddenly. The combination of heat, heavy perspiration, and inadequate fluid intake takes away your body’s ability to cool itself and your internal temperature starts to rise, sometimes as high as 104°F. What is a safe body temperature? The symptoms resemble the onset of shock: You feel dizzy, nauseated, or worried. You could have a headache and/or a fast heartbeat.

Don’t confuse heat exhaustion and heatstroke. The latter is the potentially dangerous condition, and you get it by ignoring the signs of the former. No one goes directly from feeling fine to the brink of death, no matter how hot it is, so give yourself 30 minutes to respond positively to the following self-care measures. If your symptoms don’t improve by then, go to the ER immediately.

Here’s what to do for heat exhaustion and how to prevent it.

Get Out of the Heat—Fast!

The obvious answer, but people often ignore it. You need shade or air-conditioning. And after you feel better, know that returning to the sun even hours later can spur a relapse. Be careful.

Drink Cold Fluids

Drinking cold water and sports drinks not only works well for fast hydration, but also will help lower your internal temperature. (You can also reach for one of these 10 Surprising Alternatives to Water)

Get Wet

Cold water on the skin is a big help. Cold water on the skin in front of a fan is even better. Spray it on, drizzle it over your head and neck, or wipe yourself down with cold, wet towels.

Check Your Weight

If you train in hot weather, weigh yourself before and after a workout to see how much water weight you’ve lost. Then replenish. The next day, weigh yourself again before the workout—and every day thereafter. If your weight doesn’t return to your original number or drops further, you may be slowly dehydrating yourself. Make sure you drink enough fluids that your urine runs clear.

Keep Your Shirt On

You pick up more radiant heat exposure with your shirt off. Once you perspire, a shirt can act as a cooling device when the when the wind blows on the wet material

 

Finally Home

Well, I am finally home and I had a great time. I will shortly write about what I did the last four days or so, but that will have to wait. I don’t have it in me right now to do it. I hope you all have had a great summer and at least one great trip. If not, there are a couple of weeks of summer left – GET GOING!!!!!! I wish you luck.

Good to know as we greet Summer . . .

Caesar gives us some pointers on when to take our pets to the vet.

Click to read here

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